A couple of weeks from now, saxophonist Sonny Rollins will release his new album, Road Shows Vol. 2, which includes a widely publicized meeting with Ornette Coleman recorded at Rollins's eightieth birthday concert at The Beacon Theatre last year. You can preview the entire album on NPR's website here. And here's the promotional video:
Rollins's and Coleman's twenty-minute rendition of "Sonnymoon for Two" was heralded as the only documented meeting of arguably the two most influential living jazz saxophonists. It's disappointing. For the first four minutes or so, Rollins plays a series of short motivic fragments with lots of pregnant pauses, evidently trying to coax some interaction out of drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Christian McBride. He then announces the un-named guest artist, who doesn't arrive on cue. So Rollins plays another solo, but it sounds like he's basically killing time with some very simple half-hearted riffs, wondering why Coleman hasn't materialized.